In case you missed it, there were over 5,000 marketers who made the trek out to sunny San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2018 on February 28th, and some members of Digimind’s NYC team were lucky enough to participate!

Using Digmind’s own social intelligence software, we were able to track all the buzz and highlights from the conference. For starters, we noticed that Social Media Examiner CEO Michael Stelzner was among the speakers who generated the most buzz this year. The event also hosted many influential speakers – including Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist at Apple, Mari Smith, leading Facebook Expert, and Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner. Below you’ll find four key takeaways from the event.

influencers
Some of the top influencers at Social Media Marketing World 2018, via Digimind Social.

1. Focus on Smaller, Relevant, Highly Engaged Audiences

Stelzner kicked SMMW off with data from Social Media Examiner’s 2018 social media marketing industry report, which is to be released later this year. He emphasized the common mistake among brands in choosing to treat social media strategy as a play towards the masses rather than as a platform for creating organic engagement. In his words, “a smaller, more relevant and engaged audience is far more valuable than a larger, less engaged one.”

Stelzner pointed to Facebook’s recent algorithm change as a reason to avoid using social media as a pure promotional platform. The algorithm change “downplays posts made by publishers and brands in a push to emphasize content by friends and family,” according to Forbes. While social is an integral platform for brands to generate traffic, the decrease in social traffic that this algorithm change indicates was an eye-opening revelation to many in attendance and rose towards the top of trending topics at SMMW.

2. Build a Customer-Centric Strategy

Stelzner urged attendees to ensure that they diversify their social strategies across Twitter and LinkedIn, to meet consumers on platforms where they’re less focused on socializing and more receptive to marketing content. He emphasized the importance of placing consumers at the center of their social media strategies and to keep social media a social and collaborative online environment, urging marketers to follow Facebook’s example.  

Most important is understanding how consumers are engaging with a brand online, what they’re saying about it, and who they are interacting with during these conversations.

topkeywords
Michael Stelzner’s name was among the most commonly mentioned keywords during the event.

3. Be Flexible

Another top influencer was founder and CEO of iSocialFanz Brian Fanzo, who offered similar advice to Stelzner’s, recommending marketers consider how their customers are consuming online branded content. Fanzo argued that social media strategies are often too rigid, which tends to distance brands from their consumers. Brands need to be flexible, encourage natural engagement with their content and be part of the conversation. The problem, he said, is that brands are taking the ‘social’ out of social media.    

4. “Tweet Others Like You Want to Be Tweeted”

Renowned author and digital analyst Brian Solis emphasized the power of social media in connecting brands to consumers, and vice versa. He highlighted the Twitter’s importance in creating direct interactions between brands and their customers, urging marketers to put themselves in the shoes of their target customers when developing a social media strategy. Or as he put it: “Tweet others like you want to be tweeted,” a phrase which became one of the most shared quotes throughout the conference.

tweet
A response to Brian Solis’s quote from another top influencer, Dan Gingiss.

Brands must be mindful of the fact that social media is not a one-way promotional platform. Consumers must be top of mind for brands when developing a social media strategy. While organization is a significant aspect of any marketing strategy, media should be engaging, flexible, and conversational.

Social intelligence tools like Digimind enable brands not only to monitor trends and influencer networks, but to aggregate brand-specific customer feedback in order to incorporate this feedback into their strategies. If you’re interested in learning more about Digimind’s real-time social intelligence tool, book a demo with us now!

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